Green School Summit Success!
by USGBC-NCR Staff
On Saturday, March 2nd, almost 200 building professionals and school personnel attended the first annual DC, NoVA, MD Green School Summit. The USGBC - National Capital Region Chapter and the USGBC - Maryland Chapter hosted the event at American University and attendees heard from Keynote Speaker Stephen Ritz, New York Bronx School Teacher and Founder of the Green Bronx Machine.
Stephen Ritz gave an inspiring presentation on how we can grow, re-use, resource and recycle our way into new and healthy ways of living. 'We are Ameri-CANS,' said Stephen. Stephen worked with his students in the South Bronx to grow vertical garden plots known as 'green walls' that yield fresh produce such as tomatoes and celery. Students were able to sell some of the produce and ultimately install green walls outside of school, and both opportunities have created great jobs for students.
Attendees at the Summit also attended sessions on how to incorporate sustainability into school curriculum, facilities and operations, and school district policy; and heard from a number of great speakers such as Austin Brown, Senior Analyst, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and Ryan M. Colker, Director of the Consultative Council and Presidential Advisor, National Institute of Building Sciences.
The final part of the summit offered attendees a choice of two school tours: Sidwell Friends School, the first LEED for Schools Platinum building in the world, and first LEED Platinum building in Washington D.C, or Stoddert Elementary School and Community Center, a LEED for Schools Gold building with the first geothermal system in the District. The tour at Sidwell provided an observation of the constructed wetlands that treat filtered rainwater. Participants of the Stoddert tour learned about the unique mixed-use nature of the school, as it sustainably functions as a school during the day and a community center during non-school hours.